Helen Oakes PhotographerHave you gone for years trying to figure out what to charge yourself out at? How do you price your Photo Shoots and should you have a set fee for all of them? It’s a constant battle trying to work out if you’re over-charging, under-charging or just working out a magic number to cover your costs.

Why is it so hard to get pricing right? Why do photographers always struggle to give a price to clients and not feel guilty? Sometimes we think about charging less because we think we won’t secure them as clients.

We can’t keep coming up with random pricing and hoping it will work. Being too scared to even give a price incase we scare clients away is a big issue we face as photographers.

When you decide to charge what you are worth and work out a charge out rate, things will start changing for you. This is what I did:

  • Work out a charge out rate

You must work out a rate that you are happy to work for. For this I decided I would work out my charge out rate depending on what I was worth per hour. Then I would add gas and travel on top of that.

  • Work out how long your editing will take & charge accordingly

Too often we quote a charge out rate and forget to include editing. Often the editing is equal or more than the shoot time. Now, when I invoice I add editing on to the cost so the client knows that it is part of the price and it is charged for.

  • Quote/Invoice to show value

When you quote or invoice a client you need to break down your costs so they can see what they are being billed for and what value they are getting. If you show these costs itemised it will show value as the client can see what is included in their shoot.

  • Treat friends, family and clients as equal

Often we want to give discounts to our friends and family. This doesn’t work if you are doing it time and time again. Once is enough and then they should be paying what your clients pay. They will value your time more and understand this is your business and you need to earn an income to survive.

  • Set fee or package?

Most times a package is easier to sell as it includes everything. Just make sure you charge accordingly and include what the price of each digital image is. If you don’t do this then you are practically giving them away. Show value by allowing the client to see you sell each digitals for say, $20 but when they buy a package they get each digital for $15.

I hope this gives you some idea of how pricing can work and how you can show value to your clients.

Let me know what resonates with you and if you do any of these things.

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